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Military to secure porous Kenya-Ethiopia border and protect oil

RIFT VALLEY
By Cyrus Ombati | June 23rd 2016

The Kenya Defence Forces will build more bases in Turkana County.

The bases will enhance security in the area following the recent discovery of oil.

Governor Josphat Nanok on Tuesday hosted a military delegation comprising Kenya Army, Kenya Navy and the Air Force at his office in Lodwar.

The delegation was on a mission to kick-start consultations on establishment of military installations in Turkana, the governor said.

"Today (Tuesday) marked the start of engagements with the Ministry of Defence and when formal requests are made to the county government by the military, they will be shared with key players including the county assembly," he said.

Mr Nanok said locals have manned these borders since colonial times and it was time security apparatus took up their role of protecting the citizenry from incursions.

Oil deposits have been discovered in Lokichar Basin and its production is ongoing. But Department of Defence spokesman David Obonyo downplayed the development, saying the visit by his bosses was normal. He said he did not have details of the meeting.

"Whenever the delegations are visiting particular counties they pay courtesy calls on governors. It is normal but about the bases we have one in Lokichogio and other one in Kacheliba," he said.

Lokichogio is about 300km away from Lokichar. Kenya will make about Sh6.4 trillion from the Turkana oil find alone if commercial production starts by 2020.

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